Thursday, February 22
“Grow in grace.”
ARE YOU BECOMING MORE GRACIOUS?
Every day you live you’ll be presented with opportunities to “grow in grace.” And you must always be open and receptive to them. A grandmother celebrating her fiftieth wedding anniversary shared the secret of her long and happy relationship: “On my wedding day I decided to make a list of ten of my husband’s faults, which for the sake of our marriage I would overlook. I never did get around to listing any. Each time he did something I didn’t like, I’d say to myself, ‘Lucky for him that’s one of the ten!’” Now there’s a very wise lady! Physical intimacy may bring us together, but growing in grace will keep us together. So when someone upsets you, instead of responding with angry words or angry silence, remind yourself that God is giving you another opportunity to “grow in grace.” And if you don’t do too well with some of the opportunities He sends, don’t worry, He will keep sending more until you get it right! Resentment is one of the most expensive luxuries you can indulge in. A deep-seated grudge eats away at your peace of mind like a deadly cancer destroying a vital organ. In fact, there are few things as sad as a person who has harbored a grudge for years. Without forgiveness, life becomes an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. One of the secrets to a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody, everything, every night before you go to bed. It’s the key to having personal peace. So start getting serious about the Bible admonition: “Grow in grace.”
Friday, February 23
“Go to the ant, you sluggard!”
Pr 6:6 NKJV
DON’T BE A SLUGGARD (1)
What exactly is a sluggard? Robert Hicks says, “Feeling we’re entitled to things without being willing to do the necessary labor to obtain them makes us a society of sluggards.” There’s one thing you’ll never convince the sluggard of: that he’s a sluggard. “The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly” (Pr 26:16 NKJV). Even if seven wise men tell him he’s lazy, he will not admit it—no matter if he’s outnumbered seven to one. You can tell a sluggard, but you can’t tell him much. “The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor” (Pr 21:25 NKJV). A sluggard’s two favorite words are “one day.” You can hear him or her saying, “One day I’m going to hit it big.” Or, “One day I’m going to own my own business.” Or, “One day I’m going to…” (You fill in the blank)! He or she always has an excuse as to why they can’t work. That’s the meaning of Solomon’s statement: “The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is a highway” (Pr 15:19 NKJV). When the sluggard looks out the front door of life, he doesn’t see a highway of opportunity, he only sees one big briar patch. Benjamin Franklin was right when he said, “I never knew a man who was good at making excuses, who was good at anything else.” Bottom line: The sluggard would rather make an excuse than make a living. So the word for you today is: Don’t be a sluggard!